Exploded 10mm Nighthawk 1911

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

My friend Greg sent this to me. His friend had a Nighthawk 1911 chambered in 10mm. He said it was the most accurate handgun he has ever shot. Until it exploded.

From what my friend Greg was told, his friend was using off the shelf Armscor 10mm ammo.

1911s don’t explode as easily as polymer framed pistols. However this one was spectacular.

If you look at the picture at the top, you can see the chamber is split. I am not sure how that caused the slide to split down the middle, top and bottom. Then look at the damage to the dust cover of the frame.

When I saw these pictures the first thought in my mind was “Is the shooter ok?”. Greg assuaged my concerns and told me his friend received no harm from this accident. I think that is something remarkable about this Nighthawk 1911. It received this much damage from the 10mm round but the shooter was ok. Not sure if it was luck or due to the high quality that Nighthawk is known for. Unfortunately the shooter was unable to find any remnants of the round that detonated.

Nighthawk has never seen anything like this before and are building the owner a new gun as I post this.

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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  • Lyle Lyle on Jun 02, 2016

    Also; if you're going to show us your targets, please give us the distance at which they were fired. They're kinda meaningless without that bit of information. If that's a seven yard target it's pretty good. If it's a 25 yard target it's awesome.

  • Chuckles Chuckles on Jun 14, 2016

    The obvious damage is the slide and frame, but the damage has to be from the spit in the chamber. Any cast piece will split with a breech of pressure from the chamber. Finding the problem in the chamber will give the key. If the metal is OK and no cracks existed beforehand, then you probably need to look at ammo next. If the gun has been fired before, then I lean towards ammo again. Stress cracks or metal fatigue could be there, but with regular ammo, that should have already shown up before catastrophic failure with careful cleaning and inspection. Tolerances are so close that any swelling would have jammed the gun before explosion. A double charge, or wrong powder, with pistol powder is bad news. The only other possibility might be a barrel obstruction.